When Is The Best Time To Take Fish Oil?

When Is The Best Time To Take Fish Oil?

6 minute read

Fish oil and other omega-3 supplements like algae oil pills are taken daily by many people looking for a boost in their cardiovascular health, brain health, and more.* But when is the optimal time to take these supplements?

However, maximizing the benefits of dietary supplements goes beyond just popping a pill. Integrating them into a daily routine is essential, especially since omega-3 pills, if taken incorrectly, can lead to stomach discomfort.

This brings us to a crucial question: When is the best time of day to take fish oil? Let's delve into the latest recommendations regarding omega-3 supplement timing.

Pairing Omega 3 With Food

Pairing Fish Oil With FoodThe purpose of dietary supplements is to meet your intake of certain nutrients you may not be getting from food alone. Taking fish oil or omega-3 supplements boosts your daily intake of omega-3s, an essential type of dietary fat that can support anti-inflammatory responses and increase your heart health*. 

Omega-3s are a type of fatty acid, so fish oil pills are fatty by nature. This is important to note because the high-fat levels in each capsule can make them hard for your body to digest and absorb when taken on their own. Some people experience gastrointestinal distress like nausea when taking fish oil pills without pairing them with anything else. 

When it comes to your fish oil intake, you’ll want to ensure that you’re pairing the supplement with a meal for the best absorption. More specifically, the meal you pair your fish oil pill with should have a decent amount of healthy dietary fat so that you can more easily absorb the capsule and all of the health benefits that come with it. 

Some examples of healthy plant-based fats you can pair with your fish oil supplement include coconut oil, olive oils, nuts, and seeds. 

When Is The Best Time To Take Fish Oil: Morning Or Night? 

When Is The Best Time To Take Fish Oil

Another important consideration to explore when you begin your supplement regimen is what time of day to take your fish oil. Is the best time of day for these supplements in the morning, at night, or somewhere in between? 

Technically, it doesn’t matter whether you choose to have your fish oil first thing in the morning or later in the day. However, there are a couple of advantages for each.

Many people are in the habit of taking their medications and pills first thing in the morning. This is often the most sensible choice for most people since it can be seamlessly integrated into other morning-time health and wellness rituals, and it’s often easier to remember. 

However, taking your omega-3 supplement at night comes with certain benefits of its own. Remember, research has found that omega-3 supplements are most effective when paired with the intake of high-fat foods. Because so many people skip breakfast or choose lighter, low-fat breakfast options, taking fish oil pills and light morning fare might not be the best option for optimal nutrient absorption and minimal side effects.*

This is a good reason to take your pill later in the day with dinner or a nighttime snack. We tend to eat more dietary fat later in the day than at breakfast, so timing your pill to coincide with these heavier meals might mean less uncomfortable side effects and more nutrient absorption. 

If you want to stick with having your fish oil pills early in the morning, you can always add higher-fat ingredients to your breakfast, like avocado or nut butter. 

Should I Split Up My Dosage Of Fish Oil Pills?

Should I Split Up My Dosage Of Fish Oil PillsNo matter what time of day they choose to take their pills, some people find that taking their total daily dose of fish oil all at once still comes with unpleasant side effects like acid reflux and indigestion - otherwise known as “fishy burps.” 

This is generally caused by the nature of fish oil itself. Since fish oil is a fatty substance, it doesn’t mix well with the water in our stomach, so it can lead to burps and stomach discomfort. 

Since fish oil pills can sometimes be hard to digest, some people divide their daily omega-3 supplements into two or more doses. This can help minimize the gastrointestinal discomfort that comes from one full, big dose of fish oil all at once. 

Your ability to split your dose might depend on the dosage of omega-3s you should take daily or the brands of fish oil supplements you purchase. Most fish oil pills should be swallowed whole, not punctured or cut in half, so the best circumstance under which you decide to split up your dose would be if you had two or more pills to take. Be sure to check in with your doctor to ensure you’re taking the correct amount of fish oil for your health needs. 

If you decide to split up your fish oil dose, you still want to ensure that you get enough dietary fat with each meal you eat with your supplement so that your body can adequately absorb both doses. 

Consistency in Taking Fish Oil: Why It Matters

When It Comes To Fish Oil, Stay ConsistentWhether you decide to take your omega-3 supplements early in the morning with breakfast, a couple of hours before heading to bed, or somewhere in between, the most important thing to remember is that you need to be consistent if you want to see the results. 

The omega-3s from fish oil and other supplements don’t start working as soon as you take them. Just like you want to eat a consistently healthy diet to get all of your essential nutrients day after day, you also want to take your omega-3 supplements every day to yield any meaningful changes to your health. 

For the best results, you can set an alarm or reminder for yourself. This will help you stay consistent with your omega-3 intake and give your cardiovascular system and brain all the tools they need to fight inflammation and improve your health.* If you miss a dose, you can take your pill as soon as you remember. 

Key Takeaways On When To Take Fish Oil 

  • Omega-3 from fish oil is best absorbed with fat-rich meals.
  • Morning intake fits seamlessly into daily routines, but evening doses might offer better absorption depending on your meals.
  • If fish oil causes discomfort, consider splitting your dose, but always pair it with a suitable meal.

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